On 10 February 2020 Vanessa Bryant posted a long Instagram update on how she handles, along with video footage of Gianna and Kobe. “I did not like to express my feelings. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone,” she wrote. “I can’t process them both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process that Kobe is gone, but my body refuses to accept that my Gigi will never come back.”
Vanessa Bryant acknowledged the range of emotions she feels, including anger. “It feels wrong. Why could I wake up another day if my little girl doesn’t get that chance?! I am so angry. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I have to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Funny I’m not with Kobe and Gigi, but grateful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri.”
As Vanessa said, there’s no wrong way to grieve. “I know what I feel is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case someone has suffered such a loss. God, I wish they were here and this nightmare was over.”
Vanessa also prayed for all the victims of the helicopter crash, including pilot Ara Zobayan; Sarah and Payton Chester; and John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli.
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I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live. Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri. I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all.
The date of the memorial for Kobe and GiGi is special
Vanessa Bryant announced that a memorial titled “A Celebration of Life: Kobe & Gianna Bryant” will take place at the Staples Center, the home of the Los Angeles Lakers. The date of the memorial – February 24, 2020 – has a special meaning. Gigi’s sweater number was 2; her father was 24; and Vanessa and Kobe were together for 20 years.
That’s not the only way the couple’s been honored so far. On February 5, 2020, Gianna’s basketball team retired her #2 jersey. Along with photos of the ceremony at Harbor Day School, Vanessa wrote: “My Gigi. I love you! I miss you. You taught us all that no act of kindness is ever too small. Mommy is still and always will be so proud of you, mamacita.”
On January 31, 2020, at the first Lakers’ home game since the tragedy, 8 and 24 Bryant jerseys were placed on all chairs at the Staples Center. Two right seats were decorated with roses, as well as a #2 Mamba Academy sweater for Gianna and a #24 Lakers sweater for the Black Mamba herself.